After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. – 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 ESV
The only reason we LOVE GOD, is because God loved us first. It is written: In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:10,19) The only reason we choose\Chose God, is because He chose us first. Hear the Word of the Lord: You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide…. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (John 15:16, Romans 8:29, John 6:44) This is what is meant when the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus is the ‘Author and Perfecter’ of our Faith. In other words He is the one who STARTED IT, and HE is the one DOING IT!
Leader, this is where we must realize there can be NO SHARED GLORY. Because it is He who begins and brings to perfection our faith, we must run the race with our eye fixed upon Him: in Him is the beginning, in Him the completion of the promises. See 2 Corinthians 1:20. Other translations use the following words instead of Author and Perfecter; Founder and Finisher of our faith, Source and Goal of our Faith, Originator and Completer of our Faith. The MSG Bible paraphrase puts it this way; Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. It is clear to see that we cannot accept any credit for the fact that we are followers of Jesus Christ. For many reading these words, this is a hard pill to swallow. Let’s surmise this so far; God starts and completes our Faith, and God loves us and chose us and thus we love and choose Him. For some reason you were chosen, and you are loved. Love made the first move; our love for God is simply a response to His love for us. When we add that to the fact that God initiates, activates, and completes our actual FAITH…. Again, NO SHARED GLORY.
Conduit, there is one more thing to add to the equation that I am building. That one last thing is that every single thing we do for God was pre-designed and pre-planned by God. Again, let us look to the WORD for verification. Hear the Word of the Lord. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life. (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10) Did you get that? God has plans, and God knows those plans, and God has PLANNED IN ADVANCE GOOD WORKS for you to walk through. If you add all this up you will see that we can take NO GLORY for our lives and the impact God allows us to have on others. God doesn’t NEED anybody, but will USE anybody. God doesn’t use the ABLE, He uses the AVAILABLE. In other words we get to play as big for the Kingdom of God as we DESIRE. God is looking for men and women of Faith, who know WHO THEY ARE and who know, WHOSE THEY ARE! There are too many PRIDEFUL Christians. Too many Pastors, Preachers and Evangelists taking credit for leading people to Christ, when they were just blessed to be used by God to activate the ‘CALLED OUT’ ones. The Holy Spirit is the only true SOUL WINNER, and it is only JESUS, whose ministry is the “ministry of reconciliation’. Remember one of the last things Jesus said in the flesh, “IT IS FINISHED!” Knowing that God has done all the heavy lifting, what then? We children of God, we saints, our job is to FEAR THE LORD, SHARE THE GOSPEL and LOOK UP! This is why PRIDE is so offensive to our LORD, because we are stealing God’s glory. No shared glory! This is why we Praise the only wise God, The Father, and give Him glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.